NEWS BLOG (WSAU) The words haven’t even made it from the President’s lips, and already there is no hope of a true spending freeze in Washington. Even the modest proposal the President is offering isn’t a true freeze. “Frozen” programs would still be increased for inflation. Some programs would be exempt. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls for a similar freeze on defense spending. The White House is pushing back on that.
And when the freeze-that-isn’t-a-freeze list comes out, there will be a feeding frenzy in Congress to get more pet projects exempted. Farmers will want their programs exempt. Green energy – they’re a powerful lobby these days – they’ll argue for an exemption. The highway lobby, construction, aviation, science and education. They will all want to be spared.
Discretionary spending, which makes up about $440-billion dollars of our federal budget, is about 10-percent overall spending. And there is no political will to make any meaningful cuts. Entitlement programs, the real ‘meat’ of our federal budget, are not on the table. The costs of servicing our national debt, which will be greater than discretionary spending in 10 years if we don’t reverse course, cannot be on the table for fear of throwing the world economy into a tailspin.
Congress will do less than the President proposes. In fact, much more is needed.
Operations Manager, Midwest Communications-Wausau